A second visit by a sitting US president to India, the first time on record, has undoubtedly drawn wide attention from the international community. However, the tricky part of so much attention is that, as we watched Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet US President Barack Obama with a bear hug at Delhi airport on Sunday, many eyes, naturally, have turned to a third party - China.
Many reports by Western media have pointed out that the US, regardless of historical complications, is putting more efforts into soliciting India to act as a partner, even an ally, to support Washington's "pivot to Asia" strategy, which is mainly devised to counter China's rise. As for India, which has ambitions to be a major power, it needs US investment, technologies and political support so that its "Look East" foreign policy will better function to counterbalance China's growing influence.
Through these reports, there seems to be only a fixed pattern to observe Sino-Indian relations. Recent years have witnessed a tendency in international public opinion that whenever India makes a move, it is perceived to be aimed at China. This time, the stereotyped mindset seems to have prevailed again when the US president and Indian prime minister hugged in New Delhi.
This fixed pattern of thinking was created and hyped up by the West, which, with ulterior motives, regards the "Chinese dragon" and the "Indian elephant" as natural rivals. This theory, under the strong publicity campaigns of the West, has become plausible even in both Indian and Chinese public opinion, although it is more popular in India than in China.
The West is egging India on to be fully prepared for "threats" posed by its large neighbor. Considering the fact that both sides still have territorial disputes and will probably have wider engagement at many levels, this so-called rivalry between India and China will not stop making headlines in Western media.